Restorative Justice In Schools

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Restorative justice denotes a program that emphasizes respect, responsibility, and establishing and repairing relationships (Umphrey, 2013). The main focus is on agreement instead of punishment to ensure children stay in school. The program also facilitates the development of a safe environment where learning thrives. On another note, restorative justice brings to fore fundamental changes regarding response to violation of rules or misbehavior in schools. Typically, the response to bad behavior has often been punishment; however, restorative justice focuses on resolving disciplinary problems through cooperative and constructive means (Umphrey, 2013). In essence, restorative practices can be traced back to the concept of restorative
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However, the existence of restorative justice in the criminal justice system does not mean there are no repercussions for criminal offenses. The replication of restorative justice concepts for application in schools focuses mainly on interpersonal relationships, personal dignity, mutual respect and understanding, restorative conferencing and restitution (Wearmouth & Berryman, 2012). Conversely, school discipline revolves around a system of rules, punishment and behavioral measures considered ideal to regulate students and maintain order in the school setting. In essence, the aim of school discipline is to ensure the actions and behavior of students is controlled. As such, students are required to comply with the stipulated school rules and codes of conduct. While school discipline has often focused on regulating students’ behavior using a system of rules and punishment, restorative justice appears to deviate from the use of punishment and focuses on agreement (Brown-Kersey, 2011). In this regard, this literature review examines the role played by school discipline and culture, positive behavior support, and restorative justice in the…show more content…
Meek (2009) further noted that punitive measures appears to be iatrogenic for students and schools respectively. In addition, Teasley (2014) suggested that punitive measures tend to increase antisocial behaviors among students especially when they are viewed to be unfair. On the other hand, Brown-Dianis (2011) noted that actions such as suspension and expulsion tend to affect students exhibiting emotional and behavioral disorders. Further, punitive measures taken by schools are also viewed to affect students of color, and this contributes, for instance, to the increase of school dropout. In this regard, Payne and Welch (2013) reiterated that school discipline should not solely focus on punishment. Payne and Welch (2013) further noted that school discipline is complex and also involves the development of students’
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